Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Death brinkmanship patients lockdown

“The Minister for Justice Mr Hazistergos has been finally called to order by patients in the Long Bay Prison Hospital. After his unmet promise to Parliament on November 12 that no forensic patients would remain locked down in his prison hospital after November 28, the first protest has occurred” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.

“One patient has refused heart medication until they are moved to the Health Department’s Forensic Hospital. The patient said yesterday: ‘Death is better than 18 hours solitary confinement driving us mad’. Nurses warned him that he was risking his life to not take the 7 different tablets each day. The Iranian Ambassador and Consul General met with the patient on Friday afternoon and have asked for an explanation from Premier Nathan Rees and the Prime Minister. This is a breach of government responsibility” said Mr Collins.

“The Labor Government spent $130 million dollars on two new hospitals. It has managed the new facilities so badly that the patients have been locked in solitary confinement from 3.30 in the afternoon instead of 9pm since April 2, to cut costs. The total mental health community including Australia’s peak bodies, leading psychiatrists, and nurses have said that this seclusion is causing mental illness for already sick patients” said Mr Collins.

“In an Urgency Motion 12/11 in the Legislative Council all parties including the Shooters Party and Christian Democrats forced the Government to explain itself. The Minister abused and threatened those questioning his decisions, but assured them that the situation would end on November 28. (transcripts see JA website) But the patients remain locked down” said Mr Collins.

Prison officers are meeting with the Corrective Services this morning. They have protested at the loss of their 28 positions.

Contact: Brett Collins 0438 705003


“Finally the government has acknowledged the right of mental patients to treatment that respects their special needs. To cause vulnerable citizens to suffer for administrative purposes is essentially torture and diminishes us as a community” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.

“Patients under state control have had their social interaction reduced, and right to smoke removed. These vulnerable and isolated citizens, to whom the state owes a special obligation, are extremely distressed and have asked for community assistance,” said JA spokesperson Michael Poynder.

Madness causing madness in prison hospital
“Fifty mental health patients held at the Long Bay Prison Hospital have from yesterday been locked in cells from 3.30 in the afternoon rather than the normal 9pm” said JA spokesperson Brett Collins.

Prison privatisation morally wrong, bankrupt
“The NSW Government’s mini budget decision to privatise Cessnock and Parklea prisons would add them to the disaster that prison privatisation has proven around the world. Unions NSW added its voice in a resolution last night.” said JA Coordinator Brett Collins.

Two more NSW jails to be privatised
PRIVATE operators will take over the running of two NSW jails under an obscure provision in the mini-budget that the Rees Government hoped would go unnoticed.

NSW prisoners confined to cells for strike
“The ultimate responsibility for government is the creation of a safer society. Corrective Services spends $70,000 a prisoner a year, yet 44% of prisoners return to prison within two years. Cutting services through privatisation will mean worse res
ults and higher costs eventually, which will be borne by the victims and taxpayers” said Justice Action spokesperson Michael Poynder.

Prison officers to stage 24-hour strike
NSW prison officers will stage a 24-hour strike over fears the government is planning to privatise prisons and prisoner transport services.

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